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Chris Lewis

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My name is Chris Lewis and I have been in the navy since June 2006. Having passed out from HMS Raleigh after eight weeks I began my training as an Air Engineering Technician ant HMS Sultan in Gosport. The training program consists mostly of classroom work covering such ranging from hydraulic principles to anti corrosion measures. The basic idea is to give you an understanding of basic engineering practices associated with working on Naval aircraft. The end of this training package is consolidated with two weeks of practical work on decommissioned  Sea King Mk6 helicopters. Having finished the final exam with an average of 86% I progressed to my next phase of training at 824 Naval Air Squadron where my training would be aircraft specific. 

 

Arriving at 824 Naval Air Squadron I began four weeks of classroom work to familiarise myself with the components of the Merlin Mk1 helicopter. Completing this I was given a task book which must be completed by carrying out maintenance activities. After completing my task book I took my QM (Qualified to Maintain) exams. Having passed them two weeks early I became a fully functional member of the Fleet Air Arm permitted to carry out flight servicing and maintenance activities. 

 

January 2008 I joined my first front line squadron 814NAS. After only a week to settle in I was being bussed down to Portsmouth the prepare HMS Illustrious for the Merlins prior to an operation in 08. You may have seen this on the Channel 5 TV show Warship. In 2008 I visited several countries: Oman, Qatar, Gibraltar, Turkey, India and Malta. We arrived back in the UK in May and after leave I found myself sent to the Middle East for two months in support of coalition forces. 

 

After this, 2008 ended with little fanfare or excitement and I now find myself at the beginning of another year wondering what it may bring. Lets hope it is as eventful as the last.

Posts by Chris Lewis

24th April 2009

Back in the UK.

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Well it’s been a hectic 3 months with many big operations on our aircraft. I am home 5 weeks later then I initially anticipated as I came back to the UK on a cargo ship with a Merlin in the hold, rather then jetliner. Going through pirate alley we were not attacked, although the MAERSK Alabama the American ship that was on the news, was only 50km behind us. We arrived in Southampton yesterday and after getting our precious cargo airborne it was time to go on leave. Now I look forward to the next three weeks and hope to be able to unwind after 3 months away.

23rd January 2009

My First Post.

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As I write this I am in transit to a two month deployment to the middle east. While this is not a new experience to me I find myself musing upon the unique challenges that the new group of people I am deploying with will bring. To start with, unlike my previous deployment, I am not the junior member of the watch having had a few “fresh out the box” AET’s joining the squadron recently. Furthermore many my seniors ,while far more experienced then I, have never been deployed to this location on this operation before which is in contrast to my previous deployment in August ‘08 where the majority were veterans of the operation.

       I look forward to seeing how this plays out over the next couple of months.

Chris.